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Issued under the Authority of the Committee 




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As it would seem that many thousand Americans 
should wish to possess a memorial of the magnificent 
ceremonial connected with the unveiling, by the Presi- 
dent of the United States, of Bartholdi’s famous statue 
of “ Liberty Enlightening the World,” on Bedlow’s Isl- 
and, Thursday, October 28, 1886, the following account 
of the proceedings, including the addresses in full, has 
been prepared under the authority of the American 
Committee. To the above have been added a brief 
history of the statue, and the beautiful engraving which 
was executed as the invitation-card to the historic cere- 
monial, forming altogether a most attractive souvenir of 
an event of national importance, and one tending to 
form an enduring bond between the two great sister 
republics, France and the United States. 

New York, November , 18S6. 




Whereas, The President has communicated to 
Congress the information that citizens of the 
French Republic propose to commemorate the one 
hundredth anniversary of our independence by 
erecting, at their own cost, a colossal bronze 
statue of “ Liberty Enlightening the World,” upon 
a pedestal of suitable proportions, to be built by 
private subscriptions, upon one of the islands be- 
longing to the United States, in the harbor of 
New York ; and 

Whereas, It is proper to provide for the care 
and preservation of this grand monument of art, 



and of the abiding friendship of our ancient ally ; 

Be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives of the United States of America in Con- 
gress assembled, That the President of the United 
States be and he is hereby authorized and di- 
rected to accept the colossal statue of “ Liberty 
Enlightening the World,” when presented by 
citizens of the French Republic, and to designate 
and set apart for the erection thereof a suitable site 
upon either Governor’s or Bedlow’s Island, in the 
harbor of New York, and upon the completion 
thereof shall cause the same to be inaugurated 
with such ceremonies as will serve to testify the 
gratitude of our people for this expressive and 
felicitous memorial of the sympathy of the citizens 
of our sister Republic; and he is hereby author- 
ized to cause suitable regulations to be made for 
its future maintenance as a beacon, and for the 
permanent care and preservation thereof as a 
monument of art, and of the continued good will 
of the great nation which aided us in our struggle 
for freedom. 

Approved March 3, 1877. 




Americans who were so fortunate as to be 
in Paris on the 4th of July, 1884, witnessed 
perhaps the most notable celebration of the 
day that has ever been held in the Old World. 
The statue of “ Liberty,” by Bartholdi, cer- 
tainly had much to do with the greatness of 
the occasion. Appropriate addresses were made 
by M. de Lesseps and Levi P. Morton, the 
American Minister, and the following letter 
was read : 


Paris, Friday , July 4. 

My dear Mr. Morton: I have been, as per- 
haps you know, seriously indisposed, and in order 
to be equal to all my duties am obliged to care 
for myself to an extent to which I have not 
been accustomed. My labors of yesterday fa- 
tigued me much, and I am recommended to take 
to-day the most absolute repose. 

The Government of the Republic will be repre- 
sented to-day in your presence by several minis- 
ters. For me will remain all the regret of not 



being able to be present in person at this festival 
in honor of the fraternity of two great, republics ; 
but you are assured that I shall be there in spirit, 
heart, and soul. 

Accept, my dear Mr. Morton, my entire de- 
votion. Jules Ferry. 


The following is a translation of the pro- 
c'es-verbal of the proceedings at the presenta- 
tion, which was contained in a box, in itself 
a marvelous specimen of the French gold- 
smith’s art. 

The 4th of July, 1884, anniversary day of 
American Independence. 

In the presence of M. Jules Ferry, Minister 
of Foreign Affairs of France, and President of the 
Council of Ministers. 

Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, in the name of 
the Committee of the Franco-American Union, 
and of the national manifestation of which that 
committee has been the organ, has presented the 
colossal statue of “ Liberty Enlightening the 



World,” the work of the sculptor Bartholdi, to 
his Excellency Mr. Morton, United States Minister 
at Paris, praying him to be the interpreter of the 
national sentiment of which this work is the ex- 

Mr. Morton, in the name of his compatriots, 
thanks the French-American Union for this .testi- 
mony of sympathy from the French people ; he 
declares that in virtue of the powers conferred 
upon him by the President of the United States, 
and the committee of the work in America, repre- 
sented by its honorable President, Mr. William M. 
Evarts, he accepts the statue, and that it shall be 
erected in conformity with the vote of Congress 
of the 22d of February, 1877, in the harbor of 
New York as a souvenir of the unalterable friend- 
ship of two nations. 

In faith of which there have signed : 

In the name of France, 

M. Jules Ferry, 

Minister of Foreign A jfairs. 
In the name of the United States, 

Mr. Morton, 

Minister of the United States. 
In the name of the French-American Committee, 
M. Ferdinand de Lesseps. 



This protis-verbal was taken to M. Jules 
Ferry in order to obtain his signature, he, as 
previously stated, being unable to be present. 

The French frigate Isere arrived in the 
Lower Bay of New York, on Wednesday, 
June 17, 1885, and two days later she was 
escorted, with imposing ceremonies, by a large 
American squadron, to Bedlow’s Island, where 
Bartholdi’s famous statue of Liberty was safely 
landed on the afternoon of June 19th. The 
naval display, with the advantage of perfect 
weather, was brilliant and successful. Admiral 
Lacombe and his staff witnessed a fine military 
and civic procession in honor of the occasion, 
and were officially received by the mayor of the 
city of New York. 



War Department, > 
Washington City, September 27, 1886. ) 

General : Among the requirements of the 
Joint Resolution of Congress, approved March 3, 
1877, authorizing the President to assign and set 
apart a site on which to erect the colossal statue 
of “ Liberty Enlightening the World,” is one that, 
after the completion of certain preliminaries, the 
President shall cause the statue to be inaugurated 
with such ceremonies “ as will serve to testify the 
gratitude of our people,” etc. 

As the proper performance of this duty would 
require of the President frequent personal confer- 
ences with the Committee charged with making 
arrangements for the inauguration of the statue, of 
which the conveniences of the public business re- 
quiring his personal attention would not admit, he 
has designated you to represent him on the occa- 
sion of the inauguration of the statue, and desires 
you to consult freely with the Committee having 
charge of the ceremonies, and act in accord 
with their views and wishes in carrying out the 
programme which that Committee may agree 

As the use of the military force in the harbor of 
New York may be asked to take part in the cere- 
monies of the occasion, you are at liberty to give 



orders to all troops, whether under your command 
as Division Commander or not, to participate to 
the extent required of them. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

(Signed) R. C. Drum, 

Acting Secretary of War. 

Major-General J. M. Schofield, 

Commanding Division of the Atlantic, 

Governor’s Island, New York Harbor. 


The following general outline of a plan for 
the ceremonies attending the inauguration of the 
statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” has 
been approved by Major-General Schofield, to take 
place Thursday, October 28, 1886: 

First . — A military, naval, and civic parade in 
New York City. The march of the column to ter- 
minate at the Battery, and at other piers in the 
lower part of the city, where steamers will be taken 
for Bedlow’s Island. The positions of the various 
organizations in the column will be such that, in 
turning off to the piers from which they are to em- 



bark, there will be no crossing of columns or delay 
in the march. 

Second . — At a given signal the steamers, pre- 
ceded by such ships of war as may be present, will 
move in a prescribed order to Bedlow’s Island, and 
will occupy their designated positions. 

Note.— T he limited area and wharfage of the island will only 
permit of the landing of a comparatively small proportion of those 
who may wish to take part in the ceremonies. Hence, the lead- 
ing steamers only will touch at the wharf, while all the others will 
be assigned positions from which the ceremonies may be seen. 

Third . — Appropriate ceremonies at the base of 
the statue to be concluded near the hour of sun- 

Fourth . — A national salute from all the batteries 
in the harbor, ashore and afloat. During the sa- 
lute the guests and others on the island will re- 
embark, and the vessels of the fleet will return to 
their wharves. 

Fifth . — The ceremonies will be concluded by 
the illumination of the statue. 

All military, naval, and civic societies and or- 
ganizations which desire to take part in the parade 
will make early application to the American Com- 
mittee, at No. 33 Mercer Street, New York City, 
or to the Grand Marshal, No. 1 Broadway, so that 
places may be assigned them in the column, and 



the detailed programme of the parade made public 
in due time. 

The Committee will furnish transportation only 
for those who are to take part in the Ceremonies at 
the statue, and those guests who are provided with 
tickets admitting them to seats upon the platform. 
All others who may wish to take passage upon the 
bay will provide their own transportation. 

Approved : 

(Signed) J. M. Schofield, 

Major- General. 

Published by order of the American Committee 
of the Statue of Liberty. 

(Signed) Richard Butler, 


General Charles P. Stone has been appointed 
Grand Marshal of the parade to take place in the 
City of New York. 

The senior officer of the U. S. Navy who may 
be present is expected to act as Admiral of the 
Fleet, and direct the movements of all vessels tak- 
ing part in the parade upon the bay. 

Official: J. P. Sanger, 

Brevet Major U. S. Army, 




Mr. le Comte Ferdinand de Lesseps, 

President du Comitd de T Union Franco-Amiricaine. 
Mr. and Mme. Aug. Bartholdi. 

Mr. l’Amiral Jaures, Senateur, 

Mr. le General Pelissier, Senateur, 

Deldgzifa par le SInat. 

Mr. E. Spuller, Depute, 

Mr. Desmons, Depute, 

DIUguds par la Chambre des Deputds. 

Mr. Villegente, Lieut, de Vaisseau, 

Aide-de-camp du Ministre de la Marine. 

Mr. le Colonel Bureau de Pusy, 

Ddldgud par le Ministre de la Guerre. 

Mr. le Colonel Laussedat, 

Directeur de I’Ecole des Arts et Metiers. 

Mr. Leon Robert, 

Chef de Cabinet du Ministre de I Instruction Publique. 

Mr. Deschamps, 

Vice-President du Conseil Municipal de Paris. 

Mr. Hielard, 

Membre delegue de la Chambre de Commerce de Paris. 


Mr. Giroud, 

Ancien Depute, deUgui du Ministre du Commerce. 

Mr. Charles Bigot, 

Deldgue par la presse de Paris. 

Mr. Napoleon Ney, 

President de la Soctitt de Geographie Commercial. 

Mr. Leon Meunier, 

Membre correspondant de TUnion Franco- Amiricame. 


I. Music during the landing and seating of 
the assembly. 

II. Signal-gun. 

III. Prayer by Rev. Richard S. Storrs, D. D. 

IV. Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, on behalf 

of Franco- American Union. 

V. Presentation Address, Hon. William M. 


VI. Unveiling. 

VII. Salute. A salvo from all the guns m the 

VIII. Music. 



IX. Acceptance of the Statue by the President. 

X. Representative on behalf of the Republic 
of France, le Ministre Plenipotentiaire, 
Delegue Extraordinaire, A. Lefaivre. 

XI. Music. 

XII. Commemorative Address, Hon. Chauncey 
M. Depew. 

XIII. Music. Doxology — Tune, Old Hundred — in 

which the assembly is invited to join. 

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow ; 

Praise Him, all creatures here below ; 

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host ; 

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.— Amen. 

XIV. Benediction, Right Rev. Henry C. Pot- 

ter, D. D. 

The assembly upon the island will be dismissed with 
the Benediction, and will re-embark upon the steam- 
ers, which will return to their piers in the city, join- 
ing with the batteries in the general salute. 

XV. National salute. To be fired simultane- 
ously from all the batteries in the har- 
bor, ashore and afloat. 

XVI. Illumination of the Statue, with fireworks 
on Bedlow’s and Governor’s Islands, 
and the Battery. 

The music by Gilmore’s Twenty-second Regiment 
Band. P. S. Gilmore, Musical Director. 




After the arrival of the President of the 
United States, accompanied by Hon. T. F. 
Bayard, Secretary of State, Hon. William C. 
Whitney, Secretary of the Navy, Hon. Will- 
iam C. Endicott, Secretary of War, Hon. L. 
Q. C. Lamar, Secretary of the Interior, and 
the French visitors and other distinguished 
guests, the meeting was called to order by 
General Schofield, who presided during the 
ceremonial. This was followed by the 


Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who art 
of an infinite majesty and mercy, by whose counsel 
and might the courses of the worlds are wisely or- 
dained and irresistibly established, yet who takest 
thought of the children of men, and to w r hom our 
homage in all our works is justly due: We bless 
and praise Thee for the knowledge and under- 
standing which Thou bestowest upon man, and for 
the spirit of constancy and courage born within 
him of Thy inspiration. We glorify Thee for the 
command which Thou dost give him over treas- 
ures of the mine and the strength of the hills, that 



he may make them the ministers of lessons of a gra- 
cious significance ; and we humbly and gratefully 
recognize Thy presence in all which he achieves of 
beauty and power. The mind to devise, and the 
will to accomplish, both are of Thee. From Thee 
cometh the artificer’s skill ; and to Thee the pa- 
tience of faithful workmen, in whatever dexterous 
labor of the hands, equally renders laud and 

It is in Thy favor, and through the operation of 
the Gospel of Thy grace, that cities stand in quiet 
prosperity ; that peaceful commerce covers the 
seas ; that peoples and nations separated by oceans 
are not severed in spirit, but continue allied, in 
common desire and in mutual regard, with happy 
recollections and with happier hopes. It is in the 
benign appointment of Thy will that Liberty and 
Light, attending each other, advance always to a 
surer supremacy, amid the manifold tumult of the 
world, and that the time comes constantly nearer 
when the earth shall rest in righteousness and 

We give Thee thanks and praise this day for 
the lofty memorial here set up of the kindly affec- 
tion of one great people for another ; for the sym- 
pathies which prompted, and the skill which has 
wrought it, and for all which it signifies of remem- 



brance and of promise. We pray that Thou, who 
enablest man to mold the metal and make light- 
nings his servants, wilt accept the dedication of this 
monument to Thee; and that here it may abide, 
undisturbed by tempest, its munition of rocks not 
shaken by earthquake, while waters encircle it, and 
the light of the morning returns to greet it. 

We pray that the Liberty which it represents 
may continue to enlighten with beneficent instruc- 
tion, and to bless with majestic and wide bene- 
diction, the nations which have part in this work 
of renown ; that it may stand a symbol of per- 
petual concord between them ; and that walking 
in the paths of knowledge and freedom they may 
constantly advance in the wisdom of their coun- 
cils, in magnanimous enterprise, and in the noble 
and salutary arts which are cherished by peace. 

We pray for those who bear office in these 
nations ; that ruling in Thy faith and fear they 
may partake of the fullness of Thy favor ; that in 
all things personal, prosperity may attend them ; 
and that whatsoever in public affairs they do or 
design may be so guided and furthered in Thy 
providence that what before has been beautiful 
and fruitful in the history of these nations, while 
joyfully remembered, shall be also continually 



We pray for all the nations of the earth ; that 
in equity and charity their sure foundations may 
be established ; that in piety and wisdom they 
may find a true welfare, in obedience to Thee 
glory and praise ; and that, in all the enlarge- 
ments of their power, they may be ever the joyful 
servants of Him to whose holy dominion and 
kingdom shall be no end. 

Finally, be pleased, we humbly beseech Thee, 
to grant Thy blessing unto the cities, with the 
multitudes of their households, before which arises 
this monument of peace ; and unto us, from dif- 
ferent lands and of various tongues, who are here 
gathered ; that all our doings, being moved by 
Thy spirit and submitted to Thy governance, may 
be crowned with Thy favor; and that, having 
walked in gladness and faithfulness in the light 
which Thou givest, through nature and art and 
man’s device, and most of all through the Word 
of Thy truth, we may come in Thy grace to the 
perfect light and the glorious liberty of the Heav- 
enly estate. 

We offer all praises, and seek all blessings, 
with contrite confession of our sins and short- 
comings, in the Name of Him who loved us and 
sought us, and who Himself hath taught us to 
pray, saying : 



Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be 
Thj Name ; Thy Kingdom come ; Thy Will be 
done on earth, as it is in Heaven ; Give us this 
day our daily bread ; And forgive us our tres- 
passes, as we forgive those who trespass against 
us ; And lead us not into temptation ; But deliver 
us from evil ; For thine is the Kingdom, and the 
Power, and the Glory, forever and ever, Amen. 


Count Ferdinand de Lesseps was then pre- 
sented to the audience, and was received with 
great enthusiasm. As the venerable but alert 
and handsome old man, with head uncovered, 
although raining, stepped forward to address 
the vast assemblage, the noise of whistles in- 
creased and became deafening. M. de Lesseps 
waved his hand as if to stop the noise, and 
laughingly remarked, “ Steam was invented as 
a benefit, and its progress is wonderful, but at 
present it is an evil and retards the progress 
of my speech.” Great applause followed this 



mot, and as soon as the steam-whistles of the 
tugs and steamers had subsided, M. de Les- 
seps said : 

Citizens of America! I have hastened to ac- 
cept the gracious invitation accorded me by the 
Government of the great American Republic, to 
be present to-day. It was a generous thought of 
those who presided at the erection of the Statue 
of Liberty. She has honored equally those who 
have conceived this spirit of hospitality and those 
who took great pleasure in accepting it. “ Lib- 
erty Enlightening the World ! ” A grand beacon 
raised in the midst of the waves at the threshold 
of free America ! 

In landing under the rays of her kindly light 
we know that we have reached the country where 
the individual initiative is developed in all its 
power ; where progress is religion ; where large 
fortunes become the property of the people, to 
endow charities, to encourage education, to de- 
velop science, and to sow for the future seeds of 
greater benefit. 

You have reason, citizens of America, to be 
proud of your “ go ahead.” (Applause.) You have 
made great headway during one hundred years. 
All honor to this motto of yours, because you 



have been invincible in your intrepidity ! In 
speaking to you thus of the sympathy that France 
feels for you, I am expressing the sentiments of 
each and every one of my compatriots. There 
are no disagreeable or sorrowful recollections be- 
tween the two nations. They have but one rival- 
ry — that is, progress. We accept your inventions 
as you accept ours, without envy. 

The men who deserve and who persevere are 
to your heart. I say, like you — go ahead. (Ap- 
plause.) We understand each other when we 
speak in this language. I feel that I am in my 
own family when I am among you. (Applause.) 
Illustrious descendants of French nobility who 
crossed the Atlantic a century ago in the dawn 
of your independence, the embassadors of our 
sympathy and regard for you in that noble strug- 
gle, had bright visions of your great future. Their 
dreams have come to pass. (Applause.) At the 
lapse of a century our feelings for you remain the 
same. The representatives of France deem Amer- 
ica powerful and free to-day, and present to 
her this emblem to proclaim that she is now 
the personification of liberty. Hepworth Dixon, 
an English historian, in his work on the “ New 
America,” after saying that your Constitution is 
neither native, nor does it owe its origin to Eng- 



land, adds, “ It is an exotic, born in the atmosphere 
of France.” Notwithstanding this opinion of Dix- 
on, I believe that jour laws are exclusively Ameri- 
can, though I should be proud to trace their origin 
to France. It is a pleasure for me to speak to 
you thus openly, and to feel that my words are re- 
ceived as those of an old and tried friend. 

At no distant occasion, gentlemen, we will meet 
to celebrate a new conquest and one of peace. 
Farewell until we meet at Panama, where the flag 
bearing the thirty-eight stars of the United States 
shall float next to the banners of the republics of 
South America, and beget in this New World, for 
the good of humanity, an eternal friendship be- 
tween the Franco-Latin and the Anglo-Saxon races. 



Mr. President : The scene upon which this 
vast assemblage is collected displays a transaction 
in human affairs which finds no precedent or record 
in the past, nor in the long future, we may feel as- 
sured, will it ever confront its own counterpart or 
parallel. How can we fitly frame in words the sen- 



timents, the motives, the emotions which have filled 
and moved the hearts and minds of two great na- 
tions, in the birth of the noble conception, the 
grand embodiment, the complete execution of this 
stupendous monument, now unveiled to the ad- 
miring gaze of men, and emblazoned, in its corona- 
tion of the finished work, with the plaudits of the 
world ? What ornaments of speech, what eloquence 
Of human voice, what costly gifts of gold, frankin- 
cense, and myrrh of our hearts’ tribute can we bring 
to the celebration of this consummate triumph of 
genius, of skill, of labor, which speaks to-day, and 
will speak forever, the thoughts, the feelings, the 
friendships of these two populous, powerful, and 
free republics, knit together in their pride and joy 
at their own established freedom and in their hope 
and purpose that the glad Light of Liberty shall 
Enlighten the World? 

For this arduous theme the American Commit- 
tee has had the good fortune to present an eminent 
citizen and accomplished orator, from grateful and 
pleased attention to whose eloquence the simple 
office the committee has asked me to discharge 
will not long detain this expectant multitude. 

In the conflict which agitated and divided the 
people of the United States, and aroused the loyalty 
and patriotism of the country to the maintenance 


2 ^ 

of our constituted liberties, the liberty-loving peo- 
ple of France felt an intense and solicitous interest. 
When the issue of the struggle upheld and con- 
firmed the Government, maintained its unbroken 
unity, and made all its people equal and free, the 
liberty-loving people of France hailed the triumph 
with an immense and vivid enthusiasm. Nor was 
this enthusiasm to be satisfied, but by some ade- 
quate and permanent expression of their sympathy 
in our fiery trial, and congratulations at the abso- 
lute supremacy of the principles and institutions 
which had been put in peril and had come out 
from it without the smell of fire upon their gar- 
ments. To this energetic movement of the French 
people there was added their historic and moment- 
ous friendship in securing our independence, and 
the reciprocal influences which had shaped and con- 
firmed the free and equal institutions of the two 
countries ; and to the working of all these motives 
and sentiments of an ardent and generous people, 
we owe, the world owes, this visible and perpetual 
embodiment of the love of liberty animating the 
two nations which stands before us and the world 

To this realization the people of France brought 
the fervor and inspiration of Laboulaye and Flen- 
ri Martin, the Lafayettes and their illustrious com- 



panions, to spread abroad in all intelligent and up- 
right minds the zeal of their own high purposes. 
They drew from the well-furnished numbers of 
their accomplished and distinguished artists the 
genius, the courage, the devotion of spirit, the in- 
domitable will of the great sculptor, Bartholdi, 
whose well-earned fame justified the trust com- 
mitted to him, and whose work covers with its 
splendors the gifted artist, his illustrious art, and 
the happy country which gave him and his labors 
to this work. They furnished the exquisite arti- 
sanship and the constructive skill and scientific 
training and honest and hearty labor which have 
together wrought out, in stubborn brass and iron, 
the artist’s dream, the airy conception of his mind, 
the shapely sculpture of his cunning hand, till 
here it stands upon its firm base as if a natural 
playmate of the elements, fearing no harm from all 
the winds that blow. This people of France, too, 
contributed from many slender means, and of 
their free-will, the aggregated wealth demanded 
for so vast an undertaking, all from their hearts as 
well as from their purses, and all for love of liberty 
at home and love of liberty abroad, and in hearty 
homage to the friendship of these great republics. 

The committee have no occasion to insist upon 
the share which the people of the United States 



have taken in the humbler office of furnishing a 
pedestal not unworthy of the statue, nor unworthy 
of our grateful acceptance of this noble gift and 
appreciation of the generous disposition which 
prompted it. In the perfected and completed 
work of the pedestal, the genius of the architect ; 
the sagacity, the varied scientific and practical 
accomplishments of the engineer-in-chief ; the con- 
structive faculty and experience of the builder; 
and the manifold and masterly performances of the 
skilled workmen upon this prodigious structure, 
and in the elevation and security of the statue, 
have all been combined to set out the statue for 
the admiration of our own people and of all com- 
ers to our shores. 

As with the French people, so with our own, 
the whole means for the great expenditures of the 
work have come from the free contributions of the 
people themselves, and thus the common people 
of both nations may justly point to a greater, a 
nobler monument, in and of the history and prog- 
ress and welfare of the human race than emperors 
or kings or governments have ever raised. 

Mr. President: Upon the recommendation of 
the President of the United States, Congress au- 
thorized and directed the President “ to accept 
the colossal statue of ‘ Liberty Enlightening the 



World ’ when presented by citizens of the French 
Republic, and to designate and set apart for the 
erection thereof a suitable site upon either Gov- 
ernor’s or Bedlow’s Island, in the harbor of New 
York; and upon the completion thereof shall cause 
the same to be inaugurated with such ceremonies 
as will serve to testify the gratitude of our people 
for the expressive and felicitous memorial of the 
sympathy of the citizens of our sister republic.” 
The statue on the 4th of July, 1884, in Paris, 
was delivered to and accepted by this Govern- 
ment, by the authority of the President of the 
United States, delegated to and executed by Min- 
ister Morton. To-day, in the name of the citizens 
of the United States, who have completed the ped- 
estal and raised thereon the statue, and of the vol- 
untary committee who have executed the will of 
their fellow-citizens, I declare, in your presence, 
and in the presence of these distinguished guests 
from France, and of this august assemblage of the 
honorable and honored men of our land, and of 
this countless multitude, that this pedestal, and the 
united work of the two republics, is completed, 
and surrendered to the care and keeping of the 
Government and the people of the United States. 



At the close of Mr. Evarts’s speech, M. Bar- 
tholdi, assisted by Mr. D. H. King, Jr., removed 
the French flag, which had covered the face of 
the statue, which was the signal for another 
enthusiastic outburst of the steam-whistles from 
the flotilla anchored in front of the island, and 
a national salute from the ships of war, drown- 
ing completely, by the volume of sound, the 
strains of the Marseillaise from the band. It 
was full fifteen minutes before there was suffi- 
cient silence to permit of any more speaking, 
and then repeated rounds of cheering, as Presi- 
dent Cleveland came forward, prevented his 
being heard at the beginning of his remarks. 


He waited quietly with a smile on his coun- 
tenance, until the enthusiasm of the audience 
had spent itself, and then accepted, on behalf 
of the nation, the completed statue in the fol- 
lowing words: 



The people of the United States accept with 
gratitude from their brethren of the French Re- 
public the grand and completed work of art we 
here inaugurate. This token of the affection and 
consideration of the people of France demonstrates 
the kinship of republics, and conveys to us the as- 
surance that in our efforts to commend to mankind 
the excellence of a government resting upon popu- 
lar will, we still have beyond the American conti- 
nent a- steadfast ally. We are not here to-day to 
bow before the representation of a fierce and war- 
like god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but we 
joyously contemplate instead our own deity keep- 
ing watch and ward before the open gates of 
America, and greater than all that have been cele- 
brated in ancient song. Instead of grasping in her 
hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds 
aloft the light which illumines the way to man’s en- 
franchisement. We will not forget that Liberty 
has here made her home ; nor shall her chosen 
altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constant- 
ly keep alive its fires, and these shall gleam upon 
the shores of our sister republic in the East. Re- 
flected thence, and joined with answering rays, a 
stream of light shall pierce the darkness of igno- 
rance and man’s oppression, until liberty enlightens 
the world. 




The President was followed on behalf of 
the Republic of France by W. A. Lefaivre, 
the accredited representative of the French na- 
tion, who spoke in English as follows: 

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Commit- 
tee, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Great 
American Republic : In presence of so imposing 
an assembly, and as a prelude of a ceremony which 
consolidates the secular friendship of two great na- 
tions, it is an honor and a hearty pleasure to pre- 
sent to you, in the name of the French Government 
and of the entire French nation, the sincere and 
warm assurance of a sympathetic participation. 
The inauguration of to-day is one attended with 
solemn and impressive import, for it is one of those 
which form an epoch in history. To the American 
nation it is the crowning work of a century of no- 
ble efforts and glorious triumphs. To other na- 
tions it eloquently affirms human dignity. For the 
friends of progress and science and justice it justi- 
fies the most sanguine ambitions. This colossal 

statue of Liberty, molded by a great artist, would 



anywhere attract attention and deference. But 
here on American soil it evinces special signifi- 
cance, symbolizing the existence and development 
of your nation during more than one hundred 
years. It embodies the merits you have displayed 
before the world during that long period in the 
achievement of liberty. 

Impressed by this great fact and in remem- 
brance of the same, a committee of French citizens 
conceived the idea of embodying under this strik- 
ing form the beneficial work your republic has 
accomplished in modern society, and of erecting 
at the entrance of this magnificent harbor this 
emblem of progress for the instruction of the 
world. To us, Americans and Frenchmen, liberty 
is not only a common doctrine, it is also a family 
tie. From the alliance between the two nations 
sprang forth its most dazzling manifestation, its 
expansion and radiance through the universe. It 
will be an eternal honor to France to have sec- 
onded the effort of your heroism, and to have 
understood in the first dawn the sublime prospects 
which were promised to mankind by your gener- 
ous ardor. The whole French nation five years 
ago associated herself with your glorious York- 
town Centennial, and with deep emotion the 
grandsons of Lafayette, Rochambeau, De Grasse, 



and other illustrious warriors, gazed upon the 
portraits of their ancestors on the commemorative 
pictures of your glory, and read their names in- 
scribed among the heroes and founders of your 
national independence. Before such images every 
French heart is moved by the same feeling, for 
these are not merely historical and matter-of-fact 
exhibitions — there is the assertion of brotherhood, 
formed on the battle-field and strengthened by the 
conformity of institutions, by the communion of 
faith in the same principle. But more powerful 
than mere monuments and inscriptions will be this 
majestic statue, which symbolizes the principle 
itself, and which not only recalls a glorious past, 
but spreads its luminous light upon the present 
and over the future. 

The republics of the past were debased by 
hostility toward foreigners, by arbitrary and 
brutal power, and by slavery. Even in the mod- 
ern world, liberty was during long ages the mo- 
nopoly of privileged castes or races. Far differ- 
ent is our liberty, which relies upon the equality 
of rights and duties for all citizens, which se- 
cures for each the same protection and extends 
to all a maternal solicitude without distinction of 
birth, wealth, opinion, or color. Consequently, 
this symbol which we inaugurate to-day is not a 



chimeric allegory. Pledge of a fraternal union 
between the two greatest republics of the world, 
it is greeted simultaneously by more than one 
hundred millions of free men who tender friendly 
hands to each other across the ocean. Admira- 
ble spectacle which appeals to the meditation of 
thinkers, because it means the triumph of reason 
and of justice over the material dominion ! It 
means, in brief, the extinction of bloody struggles 
and the union of all peoples, through the study of - 
science, the respect of the law, and sympathy for 
the weak. Yes, such are the truths which our 
statue of Liberty is proclaiming. Such are the 
rays which beam from her torch to illuminate the 
whole world. Among the thousands of Euro- 
peans who are daily conveyed to these hospi- 
table shores, no one will pass before this glorious 
emblem without immediately perceiving its moral 
greatness, and without greeting it with respect 
and thankfulness. 





We dedicate this statue to the friendship of 
nations and the peace of the world. The spirit 
of liberty embraces all races in common brother- 
hood ; it voices in all languages the same needs 
and aspirations. The full power of its expansive 
and progressive influence can not be reached un- 
til wars cease, armies are disbanded, and interna- 
tional disputes are settled by lawful tribunals and 
the principles of justice. Then the people of 
every nation, secure from invasion, and free from 
the burden and menace of great armaments, can 
calmly and dispassionately promote their own hap- 
piness and prosperity. The marvelous develop- 
ment and progress of this republic are due to the 
fact that, in rigidly adhering to the advice of 
Washington for absolute neutrality and non-inter- 
ference in the politics and policies of other gov- 
ernments, we have avoided the necessity of deplet- 
ing our industries to feed our armies, of taxing 
and impoverishing our resources to carry on war, 
and of limiting our liberties to concentrate power 
in our government. Our great civil strife, with 

4 i 



all its expenditure of blood and treasure, was a 
terrible sacrifice for freedom. The results are so 
immeasurably great that, by comparison, the cost 
is insignificant. The development of Liberty was 
impossible while she was shackled to the slave. 
The divine thought which intrusted to the con- 
quered the full measure of home rule, and accorded 
to them an equal share of imperial power, was the 
inspiration of God. With sublime trust it left to 
liberty the elevation of the freedmen to political 
rights and the conversion of the rebel to patriotic 
citizenship. The rays from this torch illuminate 
a century of unbroken friendship between France 
and the United States. 

Peace, and its opportunities for material prog- 
ress and the expansion of popular liberties, sends 
from here a fruitful and noble lesson to all the 
world. It will teach the peoples of all countries 
that in curbing the ambitions and dynastic pur- 
poses of princes and privileged classes, and in cul- 
tivating the brotherhood of man, lie the true road 
to their enfranchisement. The friendship of indi- 
viduals, their unselfish devotion to each other, their 
willingness to die in each other’s stead, are the 
most tender and touching of human records; they 
are the inspiration of youth and the solace of age ; 
but nothing human is so beautiful and sublime as 



two great peoples of alien race and language trans- 
mitting down the ages a love begotten in gratitude, 
and strengthening as they increase in power and 
assimilate in their institutions and liberties. 

The French alliance which enabled us to win 
our independence is the romance of history. It 
overcame improbabilities impossible in fiction, and 
its results surpass the dreams of imagination. The 
most despotic of kings, surrounded by the most ex- 
clusive of feudal aristocracies, sending fleets and 
armies officered by the scions of the proudest of 
nobilities, to fight for subjects in revolt and the 
liberties of the common people, is a paradox be- 
yond the power of mere human energy to have 
wrought or solved. The march of this mediaeval 
chivalry across our States, respecting persons and 
property as soldiers never had before, never taking 
an apple or touching a fence-rail without permis- 
sion and payment, treating the ragged Continentals 
as if they were knights in armor and of noble 
ancestry, captivating our grandmothers by their 
courtesy and our grandfathers by their courage, 
remains unequaled in the poetry of war. It is the 
most magnificent tribute in history to the volcanic 
force of ideas and the dynamitic power of truth, 
though the crust of the globe imprison them. In 
the same ignorance and fearlessness with which a 



savage plays about a powder-magazine with a 
torch, the Bourbon king and his court, buttressed 
by the consent of centuries and the unquestioned 
possession of every power of the state, sought re- 
lief from cloying pleasures and vigor for enervated 
minds, in permitting and encouraging the loftiest 
genius and the most impassioned eloquence of the 
time to discuss the rights and liberties of man. 
With the orator the themes were theories which 
fired only his imagination, and with the courtiers 
they were pastimes or jests. Neither speakers nor 
listeners saw any application of these ennobling 
sentiments to the common mass and groveling 
herd, whose industries they squandered in riot and 
debauch, and whose bodies they hurled against 
battlement and battery to gratify ambition or ca- 
price. But these revelations illuminated many an 
ingenuous soul among the young aristocracy, and 
with distorted rays penetrated the Cimmerian 
darkness which enveloped the people. They bore 
fruit in the heart and mind of one youth to whom 
America owes much and France everything — the 
Marquis de Lafayette. 

As the centuries roll by, and in the fullness of 
time the rays of Liberty’s torch are the beacon- 
lights of the world, the central niches in the 
earth’s Pantheon of Freedom will be filled by the 



figures of Washington and Lafayette. The story 
of this young French noble’s life is the history of 
the time which made possible this statue, and his 
spirit is the very soul of this celebration. He was 
the heir of one of the most ancient and noble 
families of France ; he had inherited a fortune 
which made him one of the richest men in his 
country, and he had enlarged and strengthened 
his aristocratic position by marriage, at the early 
age of sixteen, with a daughter of the ducal house 
of Noailles. Before him were pleasure and pro- 
motion at court and the most brilliant opportu- 
nities in the army, the state, and the diplomatic 
service. He was a ) r oung officer of nineteen, 
stationed at Metz, when he met at the table of his 
commander the Duke of Gloucester, the brother 
01 George III. The Duke brought news of an 
insurrection which had broken out in the Ameri- 
can colonies, and read to the amazement of his 
hearers the strange dogmas and fantastic theories 
which these “insurgents,” as he called them, had 
put forth in what they styled their Declaration of 
Independence. That document put in practice 
the theories which Jefferson had studied with the 
French philosophers. It fired at once the train 
which they had laid in the mind of this young 
nobleman of France. Henceforth his life was 



dedicated to “Liberty Enlightening the World.” 
The American Commissioners at Paris tried to 
dissuade this volunteer by telling him that their 
credit was gone, that they could not furnish him 
transportation, and by handing him the dispatches 
announcing the reverses which had befallen Wash- 
ington, the retreat of his disheartened and broken 
army across New Jersey, and the almost hopeless 
condition of their cause. But he replied in these 
memorable words : “ Thus far you have seen my 
zeal only; now it shall be something more. I 
will purchase and equip a vessel myself. It is 
while danger presses that I wish to join your for- 
tunes.” The King prohibits his sailing; he eludes 
the guards sent for his arrest ; his family interpose 
every obstacle, and only his heroic young wife 
shares his enthusiasm and seconds his resolution 
to give his life and fortune to liberty. When on 
the ocean, battling with the captain, who fears to 
take him to America, and pursued by British 
cruisers specially instructed for his capture, he 
writes to her this loving and pathetic letter : “ I 
hope, for my sake, you will become a good Ameri- 
can. This is a sentiment proper for virtuous 
hearts. Intimately allied to the happiness of the 
whole human family is that of America, destined 
to become the respectable and sure asylum of 



virtue, honesty, toleration, equality, and of tranquil 
liberty.” Except the Mayflower, no ship ever 
sailed across the ocean from the Old World to the 
New carrying passengers of such moment to the 
future of mankind. 

It is idle now to speculate whether our fathers 
could have succeeded without the French alliance. 
The struggle would undoubtedly have been in- 
definitely prolonged and probably compromised. 
But the alliance assured our triumph, and Lafayette 
secured the alliance. The fabled argosies of an- 
cient and thq armadas and fleets of modern times 
were commonplace voyages compared with the 
mission enshrined in this inspired boy. He stood 
before the Continental Congress and said, “ I wish 
to serve you as a volunteer and without pay,” and 
at twenty took his place with Gates and Greene 
and Lincoln as a major-general in the Continental 
Army. As a member of Washington’s military 
family, sharing with that incomparable man his 
board and bed and blanket, Lafayette won his 
first and greatest distinction in receiving from the 
American chief a friendship which was closer than 
that bestowed upon any other of his compatriots, 
and which ended only in death. The great com- 
mander saw in the reckless daring with which he 
carried his wound to rally the flying troops at 



Brandywine, the steady nerve with which he held 
the column wavering under a faithless general at 
Monmouth, the wisdom and caution with which he 
manoeuvred inferior forces in the face of the enemy, 
his willingness to share every privation of the ill- 
clad and starving soldiery, and to pledge his fortune 
and credit to relieve their privations — a commander 
upon whom he could rely, a patriot he could trust, 
a man he could love. 

The surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga was the 
first decisive event of the war. It defeated the 
British plan to divide the country by a chain of 
forts up the Hudson and conquer it in detail. It 
inspired hope at home and confidence abroad. It 
seconded the passionate appeals of Lafayette and 
the marvelous diplomacy of Benjamin Franklin ; it 
overcame the prudent counsels of Necker, warning 
the king against this experiment, and won the 
Treaty of Alliance between the old monarchy and 
the young republic. Lafayette now saw that his 
mission was in France. He said, “ I can help the 
cause more at home than here,” and asked for 
leave of absence. Congress voted him a sword, 
and presented it with a resolution of gratitude, and 
he returned, bearing this letter from that conven- 
tion of patriots to his king: “ We recommend this 
young nobleman to your Majesty’s notice, as one 



whom we know to be wise in council, gallant in 
the field, and patient under the hardships of war.” 
It was a certificate which Marlborough might have 
coveted, and Gustavus might have worn as the 
proudest of his decorations. But though king and 
court vied with each other in doing him honor, 
though he was welcomed as nb Frenchman had 
ever been by triumphant processions in cities and 
fetes in villages, by addresses and popular ap- 
plause, he reckoned them of value only in the 
power they gave him to procure aid for Liberty’s 
fight in America. “ France is now committed to 
war,” he argued, “ and her enemy’s weak point for 
attack is in America. Send there your money and 
men,” and he returned with the army of Rocham- 
beau and the fleet of De Grasse. 

“ It is fortunate,” said De Maurepas, the Prime 
Minister, “ that Lafayette did not want to strip 
Versailles of its furniture for his dear Americans, 
for nobody could withstand his ardor.” None too 
soon did this assistance arrive, for Washington’s 
letter to the American Commissioners in Paris 
passed it on the way, in which he made this urgent 
appeal : “ If France denies a timely and powerful 
aid in the critical posture of our affairs, it will 
avail us nothing should she attempt it hereafter. 
We are at this hour suspended in the balance. 

4 6 


In a word, we are at the end of our tether, and 
now or never deliverance must come.” General 
Washington saw in the allied forces now at his 
disposal that the triumph of independence was 
assured. The long, dark night of doubt and de- 
spair was illuminated by the dawn of a hope. The 
material was at hand to carry out the comprehen- 
sive plans so long matured, so long deferred, so 
patiently kept. That majestic dignity which had 
never bent to adversity, that lofty and awe-inspir- 
ing reserve which presented an impenetrable bar- 
rier to familiarity, either in council or at the fes- 
tive board, so dissolved in the welcome of these 
decisive visitors that the delighted French and 
astounded American soldiers saw Washington for 
the first and only time in his life express his happi- 
ness with all the joyous effervescence of hilarious 

The flower of the young aristocracy of France 
in their brilliant uniforms, and the farmers and 
frontiersmen of America in their faded Continent- 
als, bound by a common baptism of blood, became 
brothers in the knighthood of Liberty. With emu- 
lous eagerness to be first in at the death, while they 
shared the glory, they stormed the redoubts at 
Yorktown and compelled the surrender of Corn- 
wallis and his army. While this practically ended 


the war, it strengthened the alliance and cemented 
the friendship between the two great peoples. The 
mutual confidence and chivalric courtesy which 
characterized their relations has no like example in 
international comity. When an officer from Gen- 
eral Carleton, the British commander-in-chief, came 
to headquarters with an offer of peace and inde- 
pendence, if the Americans would renounce the 
French alliance, Washington refused to receive 
him ; Congress spurned Carleton’s secretary, bear- 
ing a like message ; and the States, led by Mary- 
land, denounced all who entertained propositions 
of peace which were not approved by France, as 
public enemies. And peace with independence 
meant prosperity and happiness to a people in the 
very depths of poverty and despair. France, on 
the other hand, though sorely pressed for money, 
said in the romantic spirit which permeated this 
wonderful Union : “ Of the twenty-seven million 
livres we have loaned you, we forgive you nine 
millions as a gift of friendship ; and when with 
years there comes prosperity, you can pay the 
balanc'e without interest.” 

With the fall of Yorktown Lafayette felt that 
he could do more for peace and independence in 
the diplomacy of Europe than in the war in Amer- 
ica. His arrival in France shook the Continent. 



Though one of the most practical and self-poised 
of men, his romantic career in the New World had 
captivated courts and peoples. In the formidable 
league which he had quickly formed with Spain 
and France, England saw humiliation and defeat, 
and made a treaty of peace, by which she recog- 
nized the independence of the Republic of the 
United States. 

In this treaty were laid the deep, broad, and in- 
destructible foundations for the great statue we this 
day dedicate. It left to the American people the 
working out of the problem of self-government. 
Without king to rule or class to follow, they were 
to try the experiment of building a nation upon the 
sovereignty of the individual and the equality of all 
men before the law. Their only guide and trust 
and hope were God and Liberty. In the fraternal 
greetings of this hour sixty millions of witnesses 
bear testimony to their wisdom, and the foremost 
and freest Government in the world is their monu- 

The fight for liberty in America was won. Its 
future here was threatened with but one danger, 
the slavery of the negro. The soul of Lafayette, 
purified by battle and suffering, saw the inconsist- 
ency and the peril, and he returned to this coun- 
try to plead with State Legislatures and with Con- 



gress for the liberation of what he termed “ my 
brethren, the blacks.” But now the hundred 
years’ war for liberty in France was to begin. 
America was its inspiration, Lafayette its apostle, 
and the returning French army its emissaries. Be- 
neath the trees by day and in the halls at night, 
at Mount Vernon, Lafayette gathered from Wash- 
ington the gospel of freedom. It was to sustain 
and guide him in after-years against the tempta- 
tions of power and the despair of the dungeon. He 
carried the lessons and the grand example through 
all the trials and tribulations of his desperate strug- 
gle and partial victory for the enfranchisement of 
his country. From the ship on departing he wrote 
to his great chief, whom he was never to see again, 
this touching good-by: “You are the most be- 
loved of all the friends I ever had or shall have 
anywhere. I regret that I can not have the inex- 
pressible pleasure of embracing you in my own 
house, and welcoming you in a family where your 
name is adored. Everything that admiration, re- 
spect, gratitude, friendship, and filial love can in- 
spire is combined in my affectionate heart to de- 
vote me most tenderly to you. In your friendship 
I find a delight which no words can express.” 
His farewell to Congress was a trumpet-blast 

which resounded round a world then bound in 



the chains of despotism and caste. Every govern- 
ment on the Continent was an absolute monarchy, 
and no language can describe the poverty and 
wretchedness of the people. Taxes levied with- 
out law exhausted their property, they were ar- 
rested without warrant and rotted in the Bastile 
without trial, and they were shot at as game and 
tortured without redress, at the caprice or pleasure 
of their feudal lords. Into court and camp this 
message came like the handwriting on the wall 
at Belshazzar’s feast. Hear his words : “ May this 
immense temple of freedom ever stand a lesson to 
oppressors, an example to the oppressed, a sanc- 
tuary for the rights of mankind, and may these 
happy United States attain that complete splendor 
and prosperity which will illustrate the blessings 
of their Government, and for ages to come rejoice 
the departed souls of its founders!” Well might 
Louis XVI, more far-sighted than his ministers, 
exclaim, “ After fourteen hundred years of power 
the old monarchy is doomed ! ” 

While the principles of the American Revolu- 
tion were fermenting in France, Lafayette, the 
hero and favorite of the hour, was an honored 
guest at royal tables and royal camps. The proud 
Spaniard and Great Frederick of Germany alike 
welcomed him, and everywhere he announced his 



faith in government founded on the American idea. 
The financial crisis in the affairs of King Louis 
on the one hand, and the rising tide of popular 
passion on the other, compelled the summons of 
the Assembly of Notables at Versailles. All the 
great officers of state, the aristocracy, the titled 
clergy, the royal princes were there, but no rep- 
resentative of the people. Lafayette spoke for 
them, and, fearless of the effort of the brother of 
the King to put him down, he demanded religious 
toleration, equal taxes, just and equal administra- 
tion of the laws, and the reduction of royal ex- 
penditures to fixed and reasonable limits. This 
overturned the whole feudal fabric which had been 
in course of construction for a thousand years. 
To make effectual and permanent this tremendous 
stride toward the American experiment, he para- 
lyzed the Court and Cabinet by the call for a 
National Assembly, an assembly of the people. 
Through that Assembly he carried a Declaration 
of Rights, founded upon the natural liberties of 
man, a concession of popular privilege never be- 
fore secured in the modern history of Europe, and, 
going as far as he believed the times would admit 
toward his idea of an American Republic, he 
builded upon the ruins of absolutism a constitu- 
tional monarchy. 



But French democracy had not been trained 
and educated in the schools of the Puritan or the 
colonist. Ages of tyranny, of suppression, repres- 
sion, and torture, had developed the tiger and 
dwarfed the man. Democracy had not learned 
the first rudiments of liberty, self-restraint and self- 
government. It beheaded king and queen, it 
drenched the land with the blood of the noblest 
and best, in its indiscriminate frenzy and madness 
it spared neither age nor sex, virtue nor merit, 
and drove its benefactor, because he denounced its 
excesses and tried to stem them, into exile and the 
dungeon of Olmiitz. Thus ended, in the horrors of 
the French Revolution, Lafayette’s first fight for 
liberty at home. After five years of untold suffer- 
ings, spurning release at the price of his allegiance 
to monarchy, holding with sublime faith, amid the 
most disheartening and discouraging surroundings, 
to the principles of freedom for all, he was released 
by the sword of Napoleon Bonaparte, to find that 
the untamed ferocity of the Revolution had been 
trained to the service of the most brilliant, capti- 
vating, and resistless of military despotisms by the 
mighty genius of the great Dictator. He only was 
neither dazzled nor dismayed, and, when he had re- 
jected every offer of recognition and honor, Napo- 
leon said : “ Lafayette alone in France holds fast to 



his original idea of liberty. Though tranquil now, 
he will reappear if occasion offers.” Against the 
First Consulate of Bonaparte he voted “No, un- 
less with guarantees of freedom.” When Europe 
lay helpless at the feet of the conqueror, and in 
the frenzy of military glory France neither saw 
nor felt the chains he was forging upon her, La- 
fayette, from his retirement of Lagrange, pleaded 
with the Emperor for republican principles, hold- 
ing up to him the retributions always meted 
out to tyrants, and the pure, undying fame of 
the immortal few who patriotically decide, when 
upon them alone rests the awful verdict, whether 
they shall be the enslavers or the saviors of their 

The sun of Austerlitz set in blood at Waterloo, 
the swords of allied kings placed the Bourbon once 
more on the throne of France. In the popular 
tempest of July the nation rose against the intoler- 
able tyranny of the King, and, calling upon this 
unfaltering friend of liberty, said with one voice : 
“You alone can save France from despotism on 
the one hand and the orgies of the Jacobin mob on 
the other ; take absolute power, be marshal, gen- 
. eral, dictator if you will ! ” But in assuming com- 
mand of the National Guard the old soldier and 
patriot answered amid the hail of shot and shell, 


“Liberty shall triumph, or we all perish togeth- 
er!” He dethroned and drove out Charles X, 
and France, contented with any destiny he might 
accord to her, with unquestioning faith left her 
future in his hands. He knew that the French 
people were not yet ready to take and faithfully 
keep American liberty. He believed that in the 
school of constitutional government they would 
rapidly learn, and in the fullness of time adopt its 
principles, and he gave them a King who was the 
popular choice, and surrounded him with the re- 
straints of charter and an Assembly of the people. 
And now this friend of mankind, expressing with 
his last breath a fervent prayer that his beloved 
France might speedily enjoy the liberty and equali- 
ty and the republican institutions of his adored 
America, entered peacefully into rest. United in 
a common sorrow and a common sentiment, the 
people of France and the people of the United 
States watered his grave with their tears and 
wafted his soul to God with their gratitude. 

To-day, in the gift by the one, and the accept- 
ance by the other, of this colossal statue, the peo- 
ple of the two countries celebrate their unity in re- 
publican institutions, in government founded upon 
the American idea, and in their devotion to liberty. 
Together they rejoice that its spirit has penetrated 



all lands and is the hopeful future of all peoples. 
American liberty has been for a century a beacon- 
light for the nations. Under its teachings and by 
the force of its example, the Italians have expelled 
their petty and arbitrary princelings, and united 
under a parliamentary government ; the gloomy 
despotism of Spain has been dispelled by the repre- 
sentatives of the people and a free press ; the great 
German race have demonstrated their power for 
empire and their ability to govern themselves. 
The Austrian monarch, who when a hundred 
years ago Washington pleaded with him across 
the seas for the release of Lafayette from the 
dungeon of Olmiitz, replied that “ he had not the 
power,” because the safety of his throne and his 
pledges to his royal brethren of Europe compelled 
him to keep confined the one man who represented 
the enfranchisement of the people of every race 
and country, is to-day, in the person of his succes- 
sor, rejoicing with his subjects in the limitations 
of a Constitution which guarantees liberties, and 
a Congress which protects and enlarges them. 
Magna Charta, won at Runnymede for English- 
men, and developing into the principles of the 
Declaration of Independence with their descend- 
ants, has returned to the mother-country to bear 
fruit in an open Parliament, a free press, the loss of 



royal prerogative, and the passage of power from 
the classes to the masses. 

The sentiment is sublime which moves the 
people of France and America, the blood of whose 
fathers, commingling upon the battle-fields of the 
Revolution, made possible this magnificent march 
of liberty, and their own republics, to commem- 
orate the results of the past and typify the hopes 
of the future in this noble work of art. The de- 
scendants of Lafayette, Rochambeau, and De 
Grasse, who fought for us in our first struggle, 
and Laboulaye, Henri Martin, De Lesseps, and 
other grand and brilliant men, whose eloquent 
voices and powerful sympathies were with us in 
our last, conceived the idea, and it has received 
majestic form and expression through the genius 
of Bartholdi. 

In all ages the achievements of man and his 
aspirations have been represented in symbols. 
Races have disappeared, and no record remains of 
their rise or fall, but by their monuments we know 
of their history. The huge monoliths of the As- 
syrians and the obelisks of the Egyptians tell 
their stories of forgotten civilizations, but the sole 
purpose of their erection was to glorify rulers and 
preserve the boasts of conquerors. They teach sad 
lessons of the vanity of ambition, the cruelty of 



arbitrary power, and the miseries of mankind. The 
Olympian Jupiter enthroned in the Parthenon ex- 
pressed in ivory and gold the awful majesty of the 
Greek idea of the King of the gods ; the bronze 
statue of Minerva on the Acropolis offered the 
protection of the patron goddess of Athens to 
the mariners who steered their ships by her helmet 
and spear ; and in the Colossus of Rhodes, famed 
as one of the wonders of the world, the Lord of the 
Sun welcomed the commerce of the East to the 
city of his worship. But they were all dwarfs in 
size and pygmies in spirit beside this mighty struct- 
ure and its inspiring thought. Higher than the 
monument in Trafalgar Square which commem- 
orates the victories of Nelson on the sea; higher 
than the Column Vendome which perpetuates the 
triumphs of Napoleon on the land ; higher than the 
towers of the Brooklyn Bridge, which exhibit the 
latest and grandest results of science, invention, 
and industrial progress, this statue of Liberty rises 
toward the heavens to illustrate an idea which 
nerved the three hundred at Thermopylae and 
armed the ten thousand at Marathon, which drove 
Tarquin from Rome and aimed the arrow of Tell, 
which charged with Cromwell and his Ironsides 
and accompanied Sidney to the block, which fired 
the farmer’s gun at Lexington and razed the Bas- 



tile in Paris, which inspired the charter in the 
cabin of the Mayflower and the Declaration of In- 
dependence from the Continental Congress. 

It means that with the abolition of privileges to 
the few and the enfranchisement of the individual, 
the equality of all men before the law, and uni- 
versal suffrage, the ballot secure from fraud and 
the voter from intimidation, the press free and 
education furnished by the state for all, liberty of 
worship and free speech, the right to rise, and an 
equal opportunity for honor and fortune, the 
problems of labor and capital, of social regenera- 
tion and moral growth, of property and poverty, 
will work themselves out under the benign influ- 
ence of enlightened law-making and law-abiding 
liberty, without the aid of kings and armies, or of 
anarchists and bombs. 

Through the Obelisk, so strangely recalling to 
us of yesterday the past of twenty centuries, a 
forgotten monarch says, “I am the Great King, 
the Conqueror, the Chastiser of Nations,” and I 
expect, as a monument of antiquity, it conveys no 
meaning and touches no chord of human sympa- 
thy. But for unnumbered centuries to come, as 
Liberty levels up the people to higher standards 
and a broader life, this statue will grow in the ad- 
miration and affection of mankind. When Frank- 



lin drew the lightning from the clouds, he little 
dreamed that in the evolution of science his dis- 
covery would illuminate the torch of Liberty for 
France and America. The rays from this beacon, 
lighting this gateway to the continent, will welcome 
the poor and the persecuted with the hope and 
promise of homes and citizenship. It will teach 
them that there are room and brotherhood for all 
who will support our institutions and aid in our 
development ; but that those who come to disturb 
our peace and dethrone our laws are aliens and 
enemies forever. I devoutly believe that from the 
unseen and the unknown two great souls have 
come to participate in this celebration. The faith 
in which they died fulfilled, the cause for which 
they battled triumphant, the people they loved in 
the full enjoyment of the rights for which they 
labored and fought and suffered, the spirit-voices 
of Washington and Lafayette join in the glad ac- 
claim of France and the United States to Liberty 
Enlightening the World. 

At the close of Mr. Depew’s address, the 
whole audience rose and sang the Doxology, 
with the accompaniment of the band, which 
was very effective, and the exercises were con- 
cluded with a benediction by the Right Rev. 


Henry C. Potter, D. D. As the President and 
party embarked from the island, the yards of 
the men-of-war were again manned, while once 
more the guns thundered forth a national sa- 
lute, which was returned from all the harbor 

The embarkation from the island of the 
vast crowd there assembled was happily accom- 
plished with but slight confusion, the arrange- 
ments of the committee being excellent, and 
they were ably seconded by the police force. 
The only thing that at all marred the entire 
success of the occasion was the disagreeable 
weather, which was an insuperable obstacle to 
the completion of the programme, that was to 
terminate with a brilliant display of fireworks 
on the Battery, Bedlow’s and Governor’s Isl- 
ands. These were witnessed a few evenings 
later by a large assemblage of many thousands. 





The land, that, from the rule of kings, 
In freeing us, itself made free, 

Our Old World Sister, to us brings 
Her sculptured Dream of Liberty: 

Unlike the shapes on Egypt’s sands 
Uplifted by the toil-worn slave, 

On Freedom’s soil with freemen’s hands 
We rear the symbol free hands gave. 

O France, the beautiful ! to thee 
Once more a debt of love we owe: 

In peace beneath thy fleur-de-lis, 

We hail a later Rochambeau ! 

Rise, stately Symbol ! holding forth 
Thy light and hope to all who sit 
In chains and darkness ! Belt the earth 
With watch-fires from thy torch uplit! 


Reveal the primal mandate still 
Which Chaos heard and ceased to be, 
Trace on mid-air th’ Eternal Will 
In signs of fire: “Let man be free!” 

Shine far, shine free, a guiding light 
To Reason’s ways and Virtue’s aim, 

A lightning-flash the wretch to smite 
\\ ho shields his license with thy name !